Al-Qaeda 'still a real threat' to US

2012-01-26 12:28

Washington - Despite the killings of Osama bin Laden and radical US-Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, the al-Qaeda terror network remains a "real threat to the United States", Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said in a TV interview late on Wednesday.

CBS News released excerpts of an interview with Panetta scheduled to run on Sunday, in which the Pentagon chief discusses US strategy to disband al-Qaeda's global networks.

"We're going after al-Qaeda, wherever they're at," Panetta told CBS in the interview excerpt.

"And clearly, we're confronting al-Qaeda in Pakistan. We're confronting the nodes of al-Qaeda in Yemen, in Somalia, in North Africa. ... and obviously whatever al-Qaeda links are involved in Afghanistan," he said.

Have US forces defeated al-Qaeda?

"Not yet," Panetta said. "They're still a real threat. There's still al-Qaeda out there. And we've got to continue to put pressure on them wherever they're at."


Panetta however said that US forces have "undermined their leadership significantly".

Of the network's 10 main leaders listed after the September 11 2001 attacks in the United States, only one is still alive: Ayman al-Zawahiri, who took over after bin Laden was shot dead in a dramatic US commando raid in Pakistan in May.

In the past year, eight of al-Qaeda's top 20 leaders were eliminated, most by missiles fired from US drones operating under an expanded covert warfare effort launched by President Barack Obama after taking office in January 2009.

Those killed include Awlaki, slain in Yemen in a US drone strike on September 30.

Former CIA chief Panetta took over as defence secretary in July, replacing Robert Gates, a holdover from the presidency of George W Bush.


  • Se-a Spencer Ikeremm - 2012-01-26 12:48

    Ag hemel, US- get over it already!

      Barry - 2012-01-26 21:58

      Where are they a threat? The North pole or the South pole ? Hawaii maybe ?

  • zaakiro - 2012-01-26 12:58

    I doubt AL-Qaeeda ever existed, or if they do it's got to be a creation of the US, like Usama, trained by the CIA, then used as a scapegoat by US Intelligence to fight their own agendas. The new claim to fight Al-Qaeeda where ever they are, is to find an excuse to go into Yemen, Syria, Somalia and many other areas. Eventually greed will catch up with them....

      Mthuthuzeli - 2012-01-26 13:53

      Spot on, and Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda are on the wings (US special forces already in Ugunda). The Empire is trying to gain that which it has lost and trying to block China from being Africa's prefered trading partner in the continent(this puts institutions such as IMF/WorldBank and their corrupt aid agencies out of business in the continent), because it doesn't like competition not forgetting their stated aim of establishing a military base (AFRICOM) in this continent.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-01-26 13:57

      AQ definitely existed, it was created as an arm of the CIA as a counter/counter group to create unrest in areas of US interest. No doubt the 'men on the ground' believed whatever they wanted to believe but the cell itself was and is a US invention, a real one. Make the lie big enough...

      Paco - 2012-01-26 15:16

      they do exist,just like Bigfoot,the Lochness monster,UFO's,vampires etc Americans are such dumb f*cks

  • Heinrich - 2012-01-26 13:22

    Just goes to show how threatened the US feels

  • Jameel - 2012-01-26 13:25

    Al-Qaeda still a threat even though a CIA agent recently confessed that it doesnt exist

  • Mthuthuzeli - 2012-01-26 13:28

    Perpetual war is what the US elite wants. They make a lot of money from it. "The Reds Under the Beds" are the Osama Bin Laden of this era - elusive boogeyman that serve to keep gullible people fearful and united against Big Bad Enemies. Emmanuel Goldstein is a character in George Orwell's classic dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. He is the number one enemy of the people according to Big Brother and the Party, who heads a mysterious and possibly fictitious anti-party organization called The Brotherhood. Despite being a key part of the story, he is only actually seen and heard on telescreen, and may in fact be nothing more than a useful propaganda fabrication of the Ministry of Truth. However, Goldstein's persona as an enemy of the state serves to distract, unite and focus the anger of the people of Oceania, as he is always the subject of the "Two Minutes Hate," a daily, 2-minute show beginning at 11:00 AM where a purported image of Goldstein is shown on the telescreen (a one-channel television with internal surveillance devices that cannot be turned off). Ostensibly, Goldstein also serves an important role as both a convenient scapegoat for the totalitarian regime in 1984, and justifying reason for more military buildup, surveillance and elimination of civil liberties.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-01-26 13:59

      Nice book report, I hope most people have read it by now. 1984 also hits a lot closer to home at present, I trust that did not escape your attention too.

      Mthuthuzeli - 2012-01-26 14:53

      Who is our local bogeyman? Please enlighten me. Oh, unfortunately, I cannot take credit for the book report. It is a cititaion I made when looking for recommended books from a political site I once visited. Even though I had read the book in 1994(high school literature), I felt this report to be presice and spot on.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-01-26 15:02

      In the book, you will remember that the first law is 1. All animals are equal. Later in the book we see the pigs alter this to: 1. All animals are equal but some are more equal than others. This refers to the ruling class, or the elite of the system, in this case the tenderpreunuers, the Mandla Mandelas, Malemas et al.

      Mthuthuzeli - 2012-01-26 15:23

      Ok, that was Animal Farm and you are right in applying that principle to this country as our liberators have turned out to represent that farm. One can even argue that Malema is Napoleon.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-01-26 15:30

      Mth totally, I managed to completely mix up two different books. Ha ha, not feeling great today so I'll use that as an excuse. Jeez my mind is blank :-)

      goyougoodthing - 2012-01-26 15:32

      With the actual book you were referring to, the doublespeak and newspeak are terms we have come to expect from the US. The Bush administration was brilliant at this, with Cheney being the master. The Ministry of Information relates to our own secrecy bill, no doubt there is a correlation. And Winston Smith is the rest of us, who something is up, but can't quite put a finger on it.

      Mthuthuzeli - 2012-01-26 15:42

      Not to worry, happens to the best of us.

      Mthuthuzeli - 2012-01-26 15:47

      The ANC leadership is not bright enough to enable them to introduce this takeover with enough stealth so as to hide their true intentions. This requires a good dose of propaganda perpetuated over many years. Perhaps they should employ you and I to be their propaganda ministers. You can be my junior offcourse, what with AA and all of that.

  • Mario - 2012-01-26 16:27

    I'd be more worried about heart disease...

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